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The impact of Google’s May 2022 core update was mixed, but it tapered off quickly and seemed pretty big.

On May 25, 2022, Google started rolling out the May 2022 core update, and this update came six months after the November 2021 core update, while there

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On May 25, 2022, Google started rolling out the May 2022 core update, and this update came six months after the November 2021 core update, while there were about four and a half months between the November update and the July 2021 basic update. This was the first update The one we had in 2022, by contrast, in 2021, we had a total of three core updates.

Historically, we’ve waited longer to report the impact of these core updates, but frankly, after writing several core update impact stories, the vast majority of the impact is generally achieved within the first few days of an update (although it does) ). With this update, the impact was felt very quickly, within 24 hours of the announcement, so we feel it is now safe to report the impact of the May 2022 base update.

Data providers in the May 2022 core update:

Overall, the data providers, who have always been Semrush and RankRanger for these reports, agreed on how volatile these updates are but with this update – they seem to disagree, that is, until you dig deeper into the data.

Smrash. Semrush data showed that the May 2022 core update arrived very quickly after the announcement. In terms of volatility trackers, see below (or you can watch live on the Semrush Sensor tool).

Regarding the speed of rollout of these core updates, “This is actually the third core update in a row where the initial rollout has seen a very short wave of initial fluctuations in the rankings,” Supplier Oberstein, Semrush Communications Consultant, told us. He added that it “looks like this is a new pattern” with the rollout of these essential updates.

When comparing the May 2022 base update to the November 2021 base update, at first glance, the May update appears to have been less volatile than the November update. This is with the exception of the real estate sector, “which appears to have undergone a significant change,” the company said. Here is a graph comparing the May 2022 base update to the November 2021 base update in portrait mode:

The problem, Semrush explained, is that the average volatility level before the May 2022 base update was higher than the volatility seen before the November 2021 base update. In fact, Semrush said the overall increase in ranking volatility compared to the baseline level before the base update was 19% lower during the initial release of the May 2022 Update compared to the base update in November 2021 on desktop, and 24% on mobile devices.

So if you plot the volatility peak, you’ll see things differently:

So, this could mean that even with the Semrush data, maybe May 2022 was more volatile than the November 2021 base update? Again, it is about how the data is processed and interpreted.

This graph below shows that 17% of the top 20 new results ranked in Google’s post-May 2022 core update came from position 20 or later, which is not far from the previous core update in November 2021:

guard rank. The RankRanger team has also analyzed Google search results after the basic update rolled out in May 2022, and here you can see how quickly the tool picked up there as well (you can also watch this live in the RankRanger Ranking Tool). RankRanger said the May 2022 core update was a “significant update”.

The folks at RankRanger compared the May 2022 core update to the November 2021 core update for us too. RankRanger found in its data that the average position changes of the May 2022 update were higher than the November 2021 update.

Diving and comparing by center, volatility looks more similar across centers:

Retail appears to be affected the most according to RankRanger data, as you can see from these graphs below:

SISTRIX. SISTRIX, another data provider that tracks changes in Google’s search results, has submitted its top 20 winners and losers for the May 2022 Essential Update. These are US-based sites from the Sistrix dataset.

Sistrix added, “In our example, we saw that the visibility of the range was 25.84 points on Thursday, then it rose to 27.95 on Friday and so far (Monday 30 May 08:55) the visibility index is 31.98.”

More on the May 2022 core update

SEO community. The May 2022 community core update seems more important than the November 2021 core update. Unlike the November 2021 core update, where the timing of this update wasn’t the best, i.e. during the busiest online shopping season, this update is better scheduled for retailers . I was able to cover the community’s reaction in one blog post on Search Engine Roundtable early on. It includes some early chats, ranking charts, and social shares from some SEOs.

On Twitter, you can find plenty of examples of SEOs sharing charts from their clients – mostly showing winners but also losers – with this update.

What do you do if you get hit? Google has provided tips on what to consider if you’ve been negatively affected by a major update in the past. There are no specific actions to take to recover, and in fact, a negative rating effect may not indicate that there is something wrong with your pages. However, Google has offered a list of questions to consider if your site has undergone a major update. Google said you can see a bit of a recovery between core updates but the biggest change you might see will be after another core update.

Why do we care. It is often difficult to isolate what you need to do to reverse any algorithm infection that you may have seen on your site. When it comes to basic Google updates, doing this is even more difficult. What this data, past experience, and advice has shown us is that these core updates are broad and broad and cover a lot of overall quality issues. The above data corroborated the validity of this. Therefore, if your site is hit by a major update, it is often a good idea to undo all of that, take a broader look at your website in general and see what you can do to improve the site in general.

We hope you, your company, and your customers did well with this update.

More on Google Updates

Other Google updates. This year, we only had one confirmed update outside of the May 2022 core update. We have the March 2022 Product Review Update. In the past year, we’ve received a number of confirmed updates from Google and many unconfirmed updates. In the most recent request we had: July 2021 core update Google MUM rolled out in June for COVID names and expanded slightly for some features in September (but MUM has nothing to do with core updates). Then June 28 Spam Update June 23 Spam Update Google Page Experience Update Google Predator Algorithm Update June 2021 Core Update July 2021 Core Update July Link Spam Update July Spam Update November, and December 2021 update product reviews.

Previous core updates. The last previous core update was the November 2021 core update which was a big hit and fast. Before that was the July 2021 core update which was quick to come out (kind of like that) followed by the June 2021 core update and this one was slow to come out but it was great. Then we got the December 2020 core update and the December update was really big and bigger than the May 2020 core update, and this update was also big and massive and it took two weeks to roll out completely. Before it was the January 2020 core update, we had some analysis on this update here. The release prior to this was the September 2019 core update. This update felt weaker for many SEOs and webmasters, with many saying it didn’t have as much of an impact as previous core updates. Google also released an update in November, but this update was for local rankings. You can read more about previous Google updates here.


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About the author

Barry Schwartz is a contributing editor at Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX Events. He owns RustyBrick, a New York-based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular research blog on very advanced search engine marketing topics. can follow Barry on Twitter here.

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